Vaio will not recover

Recently my Vaio VGN-FZ21Z harddrive crashed. When I finally received my computer with replacement harddrive (approx 1month after opening the first case) I noticed that Sony had installed Vista and setup the Sony user, I guess to ensure the new harddrive they installed was all working properly.

The first thing I wanted to do was do my own complete Vista installation so that I knew it was setup exactly how I wanted it to be. I selected to do a complete system recovery from the recovery drive, but this failed telling me that it was not possible to use this drive for this model. I received the exact errors:
 
"Cannot use this recovery disc for this computer. Confirm the model type."
 
then...
 
"ERROR: MakeIniFromMcode, Error 89"
 
then...
 
"Could not load Restore Complete System"

I received the same errors when using the recovery discs which I made when I first purchased the laptop, also with the discs I made after the harddrive was repaired, and the FZ21Z recovery discs that Sony sent me a few weeks ago.
 
To me the error implies that the Sony recovery discs will not install Vista because it detects that the model type is NOT the FZ21Z since it has had a foreign harddrive installed.

You're probably about to tell me to get Sony to sort it out.. which I have tried but they don't have any solution and want to collect the machine again. This is not an option for me as I am on business in Japan now, using my machine day and night.

Sony have told me that some other customers are now experiencing this, but they still haven't found the solution!

Anyone got any ideas????

Thanks heaps
perplexed2008
perplexed2008Asked:
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noisy_cricketCommented:
it seems that the discs are not the correct ones or you have a model no mismatch. check that the bios reports the correct model no.
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andrew_aj1Commented:
Do you happen to have a Windows Vista DVD? If not maybe you can borrow one from a friend. As long as your computer supports vista (which it does) you should be able to reinstall Vista this way without any issues like this.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
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perplexed2008Author Commented:
Thanks guys. Yes the Bios has been checked and is ok. The discs are the correct ones - sony sent me these to try and solve the problem. It seems the recovery system does a check on the components of my machine and is tripping over on the new harddrive, mistakenly thinking that I have a different model because the harddrive is new.
Re using a Windows Vista DVD, no I don't have one... I only have the Vaio recovery disks. I guess if I did a clean install with Vista DVD, then I may be lacking the sony specific drivers that the recovery disks include? Good to know that there's a backup plan if my system fails (again) - without having to spend another month waiting for sony support to sort it out.. it's been over two months in total since the initial harddrive problem now. grrr
thanks again
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noisy_cricketCommented:
if you get aq hold of a vista dvd, drivers shouldnt be a problem. most hardware is supported in vista - the rest should be downloadable or be on the recovery discs you received..
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perplexed2008Author Commented:
Thanks, I understand. Would I use the Vista product key that's on the bottom of my machine for the install from the borrowed dvd? Would that work? Cheers again
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noisy_cricketCommented:
yes - if you get hold of an OEM version of the vista DVD (im not sure if the others will work) - the cd key will work
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perplexed2008Author Commented:
Many thanks for your help!

And if anyone else out there knows the cause of the problem please let me know and I'll feedback to Sony.
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noisy_cricketCommented:
no problem, good luck
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andrew_aj1Commented:
I do not believe that there are different versions of the Vista DVD like there is for XP. I have a Vista Anytime Upgrade DVD thats has every version of vista on it. I have used it or both retail keys and oem keys. I havent have a time where i needed it for a volume installiation yet. The only thing I can think of is that there may of been more keys released when SP1 came out, if that is the case you will need a SP1 disk (or slipstream it with a RTM disk) for your key to work, but you can always use the option to enter your key later.
 As for the drivers you can get them from the Vaio website. You should get them before you format to be safe and burn them to a disk.
Good luck.
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noisy_cricketCommented:
thanks for clearifying that..
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perplexed2008Author Commented:
this is a workaround as opposed to the exact solution, but should still be helpful
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